Retro column from 2002 – Initial reaction to the first WWE Draft

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The following column was written by Linda Robin on (my original domain name before in 2001. This column covered the reaction to the 2002 WWE Draft that started the brand extension…

Just think about it, one month ago Raw and Smackdown were just there, we watched and did our best to find some good things about both shows, but I think for the most part we knew there wasn’t a hell of a lot to really be happy about. But as I said the other day since Wrestlemania the atmosphere has changed and it’s really fun watching the shows, and it’s even more fun being a fan again.

I thought that today I would talk a little about the Brand Extension, and the return of Steve Austin. This week’s programming will again be history making and I hope things go very well. I still have my doubts about the split, but time will tell, I really hope it’s a success. By the way I’ve read where the WWF management will do all they can to make sure fans that don’t get TNN or UPN will have something to watch with highlights from the shows. I’m reading Excess, Heat, Metal/Jakked will all be affected and changes will be made to accommodate all fans. I would like to go over the rosters for both shows again.

Undertaker, Nash, Hall, X-Pac, Kane, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Big Show, Bubba Ray, Brock Lesanar, William Regal, Bradshaw, Lita, Stevie Richards, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Raven, Mr. Perfect, Spike Dudley, D’Lo Brown, Shawn Stasiak, Terri, Jacqueline, Goldust, Trish, Justin Credible, Big Bossman, Tommy Dreamer, Crash, Molly,

Rock, Angle, Benoit, Hogan, Billy and Chuck, Edge, Rikishi, D-Von, Mark Henry, Maven, Kidman, Tajiri, Jericho, Ivory, Albert, Hurricane, Snow, Storm, DDP, Torrie, Scottie Too Hottie, Stacey, Christian, Test, Faarooq, Tazz, Hard-Core Holly, The Big Valbowski, Saturn

Ok now looking at this line up my opinion is the Smackdown Roster is so much better. I mean you have The Rock, Benoit, as of now Hogan, Jericho, Angle, just to name a few. I know I want to see them, and as far as the others go, watching Tajiri, Edge, Kidman, Hurricane, Storm, Tazz, The Big Valbowski, Christian and Snow I find just as appealing. The only ones that I wouldn’t really be interested in are Test, Scottie, Albert and Hard-Core Holly. But even these guys I could put up with. Hey this roster too me has enough from top to bottom to make me want to watch the shows.

Now looking at the Raw roster there’s a bunch of guys that too me shouldn’t have even been drafted. Those guys would be, The Big Bossman, Shawn Stasiak, Mr. Perfect, William Regal and Goldust. They don’t appeal to me at all. Oh boy a program with Stasiak can’t wait for that. No Smackdown has the better talent. I have no problem with the Undertaker, love RVD being there, nWo would have been fine if X-Pac didn’t kill their whole image. The Hardy’s with Lita is fine. And if they use Justin Credible the right way along with Tommy Dreamer and Raven they could be a nice addition to the roster. However with the guys mentioned above it takes away from what should be a top show. The thought of seeing Bossman in a feud oh God, I don’t want to even think about it. Let’s not forget about Triple H and Jazz being on both shows, which I think Raw will benefit from. Hey and what about Austin? WHAT, What about Austin? He’s set to return on Monday. He’s a free agent so where will Austin choose to go.

Do I think trades need to be made? Yes I do, I’ll trade William Regal for the Hurricane does that tell you how I feel about Regal? I think breaking the Dudley’s up was a mistake. I’m not sure Bubba or D-Von on their own is something I care to see. Also with such a weak Tag team division breaking up any tag team is something I wouldn’t even think of doing unless it was Billy and Chuck then yeah I might reconsider. But this is all so new and I’m sure we will see a lot of things change. I don’t hate the idea as much as I thought I would, but I’m just wondering if this split will turn out as horrible as the invasion angle. Hopefully Vince and his group learned from that. So let’s see how things go and I hope my columns continue to have a positive theme to it.

Ok as I mentioned it seems like all is well with Stone Cold and the WWF. He is scheduled to be on Raw and if you read the Ross report at you will see that JR let it slip just what side Austin will be on.

Oh that crazy wild JR. But it’s good to know things are better and it should be back to normal starting on Monday night. I hear Raw has a new set, new music, a new logo but the same announcing team of Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross. Smackdown will have Michael Cole and a new announcer, wonder who that will be.

So yeah I’m looking forward to this week’s shows without a doubt. By the way did you notice Vince took all the Canadian’s except for Trish? What does that mean? And finally I would like to say thank you to Ian who was able to get a Smackdown feed on Tuesday, and was so kind to give me play by play of the whole show. It was such a treat for me I felt like I was there. So I thank you so very much.